A STOLEN quad bike was found by police minutes after it was stolen from farm - and a suspect was arrested a short time later.

Just after 1.50am on Monday, North Yorkshire Police received a report that a quad bike had just been stolen from a farm north of Northallerton.

The caller reported seeing the John Deere Gator being driven off at speed down their driveway.

Officers responded immediately, and at 2.10am they found the quad abandoned just off the A67 at Kirklevington, with its engine still running.

Knowing that any suspects were likely to be nearby, officers contained the area and began a search.

At 2.30am, they found a man covered in mud, in a bus shelter a few hundred metres away from where the quad was abandoned.

The man, aged 24 from Stockton was arrested on suspicion of burglary, vehicle theft and vehicle interference.

He remains in custody.

The stolen quad was recovered for forensic analysis, and will then be returned to its owners.

Inspector Sarah Sanderson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Quads are frequently targeted by thieves in rural areas as they are small, expensive and easy to transport. Their loss can have a big economic impact on farms and other rural businesses – at a time when farmers can ill-afford any further disruption.

“However, quad bike thieves are now finding it increasingly difficult to enter and leave North Yorkshire undetected. Instead, they will face an immediate and robust police response to their offending, followed by likely arrest and prosecution.

“If you see or hear a quad bike being driven in suspicious circumstances – for example, in an unusual place, late at night, or without lights – contact the police. Call 101 to pass information, or 999 if a crime is in progress.”